With so much popularity and fandom, have you ever wondered how yoga works on our mind and body? What really happens when you do yoga? and why is it so beneficial? Well, if this is something that will be our your interest this article is for you.
Yoga A Spiritual Journey of Self Discoveries
Practicing yoga has become quite a thing in the recent days and it is indeed for all the good reasons. People are drawn towards practicing yoga not only because of the physical experience it makes our body go through but also the spiritual and emotional journey it helps us experience.
It is in fact, the spiritual journey which is the most essential feature of yoga practice. You must have heard most yogis speak of yoga as a quest to find meaning and looking for answers and sometimes probably even both.
With all of these and the promise of peace, as a practitioner all you got to do is step on the mat every day and slowly and gradually shift the arc of your life of suffering and miseries to a life of peace and happiness.
Like a famous yoga practitioner, Kino Macgregor said...
"“It doesn’t matter if you succeed at the pose, but it does matter that you try.
The effort of trying will teach you valuable lessons that can transform every aspect of your life.”
Now, lets go on to understand Yoga a bit...
What is Yoga?
Before we get onto understanding about how yoga works, let us first find out as to what yoga really is and why is it that most people have taken it up in their lifestyle for a good and healthy living.
The Literal Meaning
The word “Yoga” comes from a Sanskrit term ‘yuj’ which literally means union- the union of the individual consciousness with the universal consciousness.
Yoga is a path which takes us on a journey to achieve a total harmony of the body, mind and the spirit. It is not just a form of physical exercise for our body but is also believed to be an ancient wisdom for a healthier, happier and a more peaceful way of living.
And it is right at the end of the wonderful journey that we ultimately lead ourselves in achieving the union of our individual consciousness with the universal consciousness.Even though yoga’s roots are dug deep into Hinduism, over hundreds and thousands of years its knowledge has transcended into various religions and cultures. It is no longer specified to Hinduism but has achieved a universal application
To know more on this in details read our Post on Meaning of The Word Yoga
Now lets come to the main question that is article is all about...
How Yoga Works?
The way yoga works on us, is quite a mystery but it is a very real and a legitimate one indeed. Once we get a hang of what exactly yoga is, it will be easier for us to understand as to how yoga works.
Many of us have this question in our mind when we get into practicing yoga or even reading extensively about it- and it is quite a valid and a pertinent question for sure. To understand how yoga works, it is important that we understand our body first.
Yoga Works to bring back consciousness into our body
Our body is a deep reservoir of vast and intense feelings, emotions, memory and thought. But we often end up disconnecting from it by not living it up to our full potential.
And this happens primarily because of our mundane, hectic and overburdened lifestyle. So, here’s where yoga starts playing its major role. When we start practicing yoga, the first thing it does is bring back our consciousness into our body through focus and that is done through yogic meditation.
The task of bringing back our consciousness into our bodies does not happen in two minutes. It takes time and it needs patience. Once, one achieves the first step on the yoga path, it is then in that quiet space of inner world we begin to start familiarizing our self with our own self.
Also Read our post on History and Origin of Yoga
Yoga Brings new senses to old body parts
It is then that we can control our minds and gradually learn to bring it to different parts of our body where we get to feel all those body parts that had been cut off earlier. It is in this process that all our buried thoughts resurface and we face all of those with a challenge.
The asanas, the Sanskrit term for poses , are nothing but a mere foundation of this whole physical, mental, emotional and spiritual experience that yoga takes us through.
The poses or achieving the poses with perfection are therefore not the ultimate goal of yoga but a tool to help to feel our body and the different parts of it. It is with the help of these asanas that we open our senses to feel and understand the vast ocean of sensations which get hidden and buried with time.
Also read our post on How To Get Into Yoga And Start Doing Yoga At Home?
Let us ask you a question. How or what do you feel when you accomplish or achieve big things in life?
Doesn’t it leave you feeling hollow and disconnected? This exactly what happens when you are not connected to a deeper truth.
So, to achieve the deeper truth it is essential that our body and our minds are in unity. And if our body and mind are not in unity the precious moments of our life lose out on their credibility leaving you hollow and empty.
Also, read our post on Straighten Your Teeth Through Yoga
Yoga Works to Unite Mind And Body
Therefore, one can say that the unity of the body and the mind is the basis of everything and that is brought about with the help of practicing yoga. Yoga helps us bring about a more subtle sense of being and that subtle sense can only be brought about by embarking on a journey through an inner path.
As we have spoken about earlier, yoga is not merely a form of physical exercise. There’s much more to it.
It is a promise of peace.
Yoga is not about doing a perfect yoga headstand or a perfect pose. But it is the journey that you embark on with the help of these yoga poses which involve fun twisting and bending your body into different shapes.
So, once you decide to embark on this journey make sure that you do not get lost in just the physical aspect of it.
Even if you tend to do that at the beginning, focus on bringing your attention back into deeper and the inner path and let the whole process set you, your body and your mind free.
Also read our popular post in Yoga Therapy
Concluding Thoughts on How Yoga Works
Yogis have often compared our life and our existence with that of an onion. They believe that our entire being is like the layers of an onion- the outermost layer being our physical body and the innermost being the layer which is the frontier where our mind and body meet.
The most interesting part of our existence in these layers is that all of these levels are interconnected. Therefore, events happening on one level always leave ripples and repercussions in the other levels.
So, in a nutshell one can say that yoga works magically from the outside in. Apart from the superficial physical benefits, yoga helps us calming our thoughts which help the prana to flow within us smoothly and peacefully.
And when that happens our body becomes stronger and trimmer making our lives healthier. Our mind and our body are two essential features of the same united thing- our being- and with yoga we bring about engaging all of it in a very unique, methodical and a scientific way.